Monday, July 23, 2018
CulturePass NYC: still a few bugs in the system
Many of NYC's cultural institutions are fairly expensive. To counter this, NYC introduced CulturePass.NYC, through which NYC library card holders can reserve free admission to 33 cultural institutions. Sounds good, yes?
A quick tour of the site a week after its mid-July roll-out revealed that the shelves were mostly empty, with passes available immediately for only a few of the institutions. For some others, one could reserve passes only for a future date. But many attractions had neither available passes or any link to a calendar to indicate when future dates could be reserved. What happened?
Apparently the program was very popular. Four days after the CulturePass website went live, passes were sold out for ten of the most popular institutions. Program representatives say they are speaking with venues to offer more passes and to add new venues.
The FAQ page reveals a catch: passes are made available on the website two months in advance on the first of every month. "For example, on October 1, December passes will be made available and Culture Pass patrons will be able to reserve any available passes for dates between October 1st and December 31st."
So mark your calendars for the first of the month to see if you can nab some passes far in advance. Perhaps set an alarm for just after midnight.
Maybe someday I'll be able to visit the Guggenheim without dropping $25 or enduring the lengthy wait on the around the block lines for its Saturday 5 - 7:45 PM pay what you wish hours. Until then, I'll appreciate the NYC museums that are always pay what you wish, like the Museum of the City of NY, and my favorite, the Metropolitan Museum.